RUN WITH THE PACK
Frontiers Music Srl
Release: April 20, 2018
Norwegian melodic rock queen ISSA is back with her fifth studio album “Run With The Pack”! As with her past releases, the new release is a melodic rock fans dream come true with huge vocals and soaring melodies! This time around, Issa partnered with Alessandro Del Vecchio to work on her new album and to mix things up, brought in the excellent Simone Mularoni of Italian progressive metal giants, DGM to play guitar (who is also an excellent producer and songwriter, in his own right). The line-up was rounded out by Andrea ToWer Torricini (Vision Divine) and Marco Di Salvia (Kee of Hearts) holding down the rhythm section for what is arguably ISSA’s most fully realized musical offering yet!
One nice touch for this album is that the stars aligned and Revolution Saints frontman /drummer, Deen Castronovo (Revolution Saints, ex-Journey) was able to come by the studio and perform a duet with Issa on the track “Sacrifice Me”. ISSA’s musical growth over the years has been tremendous and fans will reap the rewards with “Run With The Pack”!
1. Am I Losin’ You
2. Run With The Pack
3. Sacrifice Me (feat. Deen Castronovo)
4. How Long
5. The Sound Of Yesterday
6. Come Back Again
7. Talk To Your Heart
9. Closer To You
11. Everything To Me
‘’Am I Losin’ You’’ is the album opener, it slowly leads us into this album that is packed with powerful songs. It’s one of those songs that can please almost everyone, it has nice lyrics and chord progressions, and the vocal melodies are super catchy! While this song is a bit more to the heavy metal side of the spectrum, ‘’Run With The Pack’’ seems to be more pointed towards symphonic metal. I also hear a lot of eighties influences, but in a new, modern setting. ‘’Sacrifice Me’’ is a great example of a mix between all the different genres, and I love to hear Deen Castronovo on this track as well. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, you know enough by just the first few lines of his Wikipedia page: ‘’Deen Castronovo is best known for being a member of hard rock and metal acts Journey, Bad English, Revolution Saints and The Dead Daisies. He also has been a touring and studio member for Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Paul Rodgers, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler's GZR and others.’’ Deen’s voice blends in perfectly with Issa’s, and with this genre in general.
‘’How Long’’ is actually not really a favourite of mine, but that doesn’t make it less of a good song. It’s more of a power ballad, which fits very good on this album. Same actually goes for ‘’The Sound Of Yesterday’’, both these songs are very catchy. ‘’Come Back Again’’ on the contrary is one of the best tracks on ‘’Run With The Pack’’ in my opinion. The only thing that bothers me about it, is the key that the chorus is in. It could have sounded a lot more uplifting, as that is what the verse seems to be building up to. I like the keys in it though, but they could have been a bit louder.
The vocal mixing in ‘’Talk To Your Heart’’ seems to be a bit off, like it was recorded as a live track. Both this song and ‘’Bittersweet’’ are a bit - sorry to say this - boring to me and kind of sound the same. They didn’t really stand out, because of tracks like ‘’Closer To You’’ and ‘’Run With The Pack’’ for example, which are very powerful and more dominant on the album. ‘’Irreplaceable’’ and ‘’Everything To Me’’ seem to drift away from the heavy metal which the album started off as.
All in all I think ‘’Run With The Pack’’ is a pretty solid album, but it has some flaws. Halfway the album the mixing is a bit messy, the vocals and keys are very soft while the guitars are on some parts very loud. As far as the lyrics go, they are kind of cheesy, but that makes the album very easy to listen to. I’d rate ‘’Run With The Pack’’ by ISSA an 7,5 out of 10.
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Issa Oversveen – vocals
Simone Mularoni – guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio – keyboards
Andrea ToWer Torricini - bass,
Marco Di Salvia - drums